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MPC Paris drinks the Golaem magic potion for Asterix!

Louis Maero, Crowd Simulation Lead at MPC Paris explains in details the challenges of creating 240 epic battle shots for Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom.

June 28, 2023

Louis Maëro, Lead Crowd Simulation at MPC Paris, talked to Golaem about his work on the film Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom. Here is a snippet from his interview:

What was the size of your team and how long have you worked on this project?
The Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom project took a long time to complete: from the initial tests to the production of assets and delivery of the final shots, it took over a year! Personally, I worked on it for a little over 10 months.

When the project started, I was the only Crowd Artist at MPC Paris. But due to the need for crowd work, we quickly sought to recruit other artists to join the team. It was the first time we had to handle so many crowd shots in a single project at MPC Paris. It was quite challenging to find crowd artists because competition in this field is fierce. It’s a rare skill set that requires highly technical expertise in multiple areas. At the peak of the project, we had 4 crowd artists working simultaneously and a total of 5 artists who contributed to the project. A big thank you to Alexis Charroin, Thomas Goubard, Valentine Arles, and Yann Belly!

Is there a part of the project you are most proud of?
The majority of the shots in the Asterix & Obelix movie were ultimately simple in terms of behavior management. Large masses of static or marching soldiers are not the most challenging behaviors to reproduce. The biggest challenges were in terms of optimization, asset quality, and rendering, ensuring that the Golaem-generated characters were perfectly integrated among the extras.
Thus, the shots I am most proud of are those with the most complex behaviors to create, yet still maintain seamless integration of the characters. In this regard, the most notable sequence is the final one, where the Roman soldiers flee after losing. If I were to watch one of those shots again, I probably wouldn’t even be able to tell where the boundary between the live soldiers and the added soldiers lies.

Read the full interview on the Golaem website.

For more information on MPC Paris’s work on Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom, click here.

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